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Erotica that satisfies on many levels
on March 23, 2015
What a treasure trove of great erotic writing! The consistent high caliber of these nineteen short stories makes “One Night Only” one of the most enjoyable and rewarding collections to come along in quite some time. Editor Violet Blue clearly has an eye for quality, along with a gift for effective organization, arranging the contents with an uncanny “right-ness” reminiscent of a great filmmaker—then again, she was undoubtedly inspired.
The unifying theme here is the one night stand; those breathless, fleetingly ephemeral yet utterly unforgettable sexual encounters that often occur by chance, occasionally nurturing regret, but seldom recalled without a tinge of nostalgic delight. So it was in the reading, as well. It would be difficult to choose a favorite from among so many fine pieces, though several do stand out in my memory, reverberating in those sections of the brain that delight in a cleverly turned phrase, not to mention an increasingly cantankerous and picky reptilian core.
I was immediately hooked by Alison Tyler’s “Seeing Stars” with its vividly imagined main character, a lonely ticket-taker in a decrepit all-night movie palace who ends up taking a chance on a handsome patron. Fast-paced and thrilling, Kev Henley’s “Chasing Fate: Exige” is a Frank-Miller-esque tour de force of bad boys up to no good, fast cars and the even faster women who love both. “Performance Art” by the gifted Cynthia Hamilton takes a more cerebral tack, but is no less viscerally satisfying in its steamy denouement wherein two visitors to an art museum momentarily become part of one of the exhibits.
Jan Darby’s “Maid Service” delves the notion of “invisibility”, that is, the unspoken assumption that “the help” is to remain discreetly out of sight and out of mind. Yet when a guest at a business hotel “notices” the pretty housekeeper, all notions of class hierarchy and propriety are temporarily forgotten. Donna George Storey’s “Hole In Your Pocket” evokes a delectable torture with its poignant and powerfully titillating story of lust suddenly requited when a decades-long Platonic relationship explodes into the physical realm. Austin Stevens’ “Belle de Soire”, D.L. King’s “Whore”, and Kristina Wright’s “Just a Little Trim” are aptly sly and equally satisfying in their portrayals of frisky professional women out for a thrill.
Rachel Kramer Bussel’s “Rock Star Rewards” is a scintillating character study of a tough lady rocker on tour with her band, a woman who knows what she needs and the means to get what she wants. The game of chess was never so sexy or sensually intense as in Abby Abbot’s absorbing and well-imagined “Tournament”, and in “Three Pink Earthquakes”, Thomas S. Roche’s gritty, phrenetic style is perfectly suited to the story of a down-and-dirty ménage encounter under a barroom table.